Latino student mentoring program expands

Posted April 24, 2017 6:52 p.m. EDT

— A mentoring program aimed at helping immigrant students get accepted into college will now offer e-advising as well.

The Scholars' Latino Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has, for a few years, offered mentorship to build support networks for Latino high school students and their families.

"I come from Colombia with my family, and we just don’t know how it works here," said Lucia Lozano Robledo, a senior at Carrboro High School. "Sometimes, there are just things that you can’t really translate or explain fully. So, it becomes an even greater frustration to not know what’s happening and to not be able to explain it as well."

Lozano Robledo, who will attend Elon University on a full honors scholarship, said she was lost until she found the Scholars' Latino Initiative.

"Families want to know how to get their kids into college. That’s part of the reason why many of them came to the United States – they want to provide a better life for their children," said Ricky Hurtado, executive director of the Scholars' Latino Initiative.

The group has become so popular that it's expanding its bilingual tutoring and college application mentoring to include e-advising, allowing tutors at UNC to work with students statewide instead of just those it can reach in person. Hurtado said helping students in eastern North Carolina tops the group's priority list.